Fly-in Chimpanzee Tracking Safari in Kyambura gorge is a popular Safari attraction in Queen Elizabeth National park located in southwestern Uganda. Many domestic airlines operate both scheduled and chartered flights from both Kasese and Mweya airstrips where travelers can be picked up using 4×4 safari vehicles and transferred to their respective lodges for the chimpanzee tracking experience. Clients can either fly in the morning or afternoon depending on their schedules and Chimpanzee Tracking activities are usually done in the morning and afternoon.
Kyambura gorge is located in Kyambura game reserve, the gorge was formed as a result of volcanicity where tensional forces acted on the surface causing depression which became a river passage to the Arkansas river leading to the formation of a riverine forest which is heavily dominated by fig-trees, strangler fig, and Musizi trees which are a huge source of food for chimpanzees. The gorge is also home to hippos, elephants, waterbucks, and other primate species like red-tailed, colobus monkeys, vervet monkeys, baboons, and occasionally leopards and lions have been sighted at the edge of the gorge. Kyambura gorge in Kyambura game reserve forms part of the Kyambura wildlife corridor which allows free migration of primates between the gorge and Maramagambo forest which is just south of the gorge.
The 291m gorge forest is home to a group of about 20 chimpanzees that are spread across the gorge area. Chimpanzee tracking in Kyambura gorge is one of the most fascinating safari highlights for travelers that visit the gorge, according to statistics, chimpanzee tracking in Kyambura gorge is one of the easiest chimpanzee tracking activities in Uganda compared to Kalinzu forest, Kibale Forest, and Budongo forest. This is because of the size of the narrow size of the gorge. However, during the rainy season, the river becomes a big barrier to chimpanzee tracking. Clients are advised to contact us for the state of the river flooding during the rainy season.
There are two airstrips near Kyambura gorge where clients can fly in before transferring by road to Kyambura gorge.
Kasese airstrip and transfer to the gorge: Kasese airstrip is located at the foothills of the Rwenzori mountains which is Uganda’s highest peak lying at 5109 m above sea level at the margarita peak. The airstrip is located 50km from Kyambura gorge by road and the drive can take up to 40mins through the heart of Queen Elizabeth national park where you might even have chances of sighting game as you drive along through the park.
Mweya airstrip transfer to the gorge: Mweya airstrip is located at the heart of the action-packed Kazinga channel which is one of the best areas for viewing African elephants on boat safaris which is a walkable distance from the airstrip and Mweya safari lodge.
Chimpanzee tracking permits in Kyambura gorge are issued by Uganda wildlife Authority and we at safari vacations and travels will help you book the chimpanzee permits or arrange for you an all-inclusive package to track the chimpanzees in Kyambura gorge. However, due to changes in prices of permits please inquire before booking.
Chimpanzee trekking in Kyambura gorge is done in two shifts, one in the morning that starts at 8:30 and the other one in the afternoon that starts at 2 pm respectively. However, morning hours have proven to be a little bit better than the afternoons due to the unavoidable weather patterns but you can still have a phenomenon experienced in the afternoon.
Kyambura gorge in Queen Elizabeth national park is located directly on the equator line, making the chimpanzee trekking in the gorge an all-year-round activity. However, wet seasons can be characterized by rainfall which might cause flooding of the Arkansas River in the months of September to November and March to May, making December-Feb, June to August a better chimpanzee tracking time.
Since the trekking involves hiking in the rain forest, travelers are advised to wear and carry appropriate gear in order to have a successful activity and these include;
Here is our brief guide on how you can best explore and experience QENP and Kyambura gorge
Lodge option: Hotel N0 5 or the Boma
Upon arrival at Entebbe international airport, you’ll be received by your safari guide and transferred to your hotel. Depending on the time of your arrival, you may choose to explore Entebbe town, visit the botanical gardens, have pizza by the shore so of Lake Victoria and or if you have enough time you can go out to look for the endangered shoebill stork in Mabamba swamp which is north of Entebbe town.
Lodge option: Elephant plains lodge or Kyambura gorge lodge
You’ll be picked up early morning by your guide and transfer to Entebbe international airport for Aero link domestic flight to Kasese airstrip. Upon arrival, you’ll be received by your safari guide and transferred to your lodge for check-in and relaxation. Later in the evening, you’ll be transferred to Kasenyi plains for a game drive where you may have chances of seeing lions, leopards, elephants, waterbucks and later return for an overnight dinner at the lodge. Morning chimpanzee trekking at Kyambura gorge. Return to the lodge for lunch and after lunch transfer to the boat for the Kazinga channel boat cruise
For clients flying in the afternoon may opt for a morning game drive, return to the lodge for lunch and transfer to the airstrip for a flight out and those in the morning flight will have to check out and say bye to the lodge staff for transfer to the airstrip and fly out.